Sculptural Fashion Objects

with Anna Lewis

Carmarthen, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea Students

Anna begins by introducing her own work, which focus’ on the darker side of mythology- most notably the human/animal hybrid. Anna’s fashion pieces use this idea as a vehicle, to convey the notion of Momento Mori- an object which is a reminder of our mortality. This idea that even in death we have this need to adorn and aestheticise. By concentrating on this fusion, her fashion objects become more than just embellishments- she goes on to suggest that these objects can manipulate and even contort the body; that they can dictate rather than add to. Anna then goes on to explain the days task, how they will be creating one such fashion object with the brief of “becoming animal”. They will be embarking on an entire design process in just one day, so it was a challenge not for the fainthearted!

The first task involves creating a collage from photocopied images of humans and animals, playing with ideas and scale- focusing particularly on how the natural forms of the two convene, and developing inspiration for their object. All students get into the fluidity of the process- placing and replacing their collage, beginning to create images in their own right. Many students branched out of the traditional collage materials, and started binding their hybrids together with wire and string- already looking at how their fashion objects could be formed. Some took inspiration from the coiling and restricting nature of snakes, others looked at the statement created by feathers and still more became fascinated by the enveloping design of wings.

After lunch the students were introduced to the technique of blind drawing- this helps individuals focus on what’s in front of them, opposed to their paper. In doing this, they will be able to design their fashion object directly onto the human form. As this was generally considered a new technique for all, it was initially hard for many to let go of the drawing. But the results were impressive sketches that wouldn’t look out of place in the fashion industry.

From this and their previous collages, quirky fashion objects began to form- they were encouraged to make and design as they went along, which made for a very animated studio! Many worked directly onto the mannequin- wrapping, cutting and tearing materials, others worked on a more intricate scale choosing to focus on perhaps a small hand detail. Either way students became increasingly bold in how they placed the objects, which created some incredibly original final pieces.

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